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Lincoln Art Fair marks 35th year

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[August 14, 2008]  For 34 straight years, local patrons of the arts have flocked to downtown Lincoln to view some of the best fine art available in the Midwest. This year is no exception as the Lincoln Art Fair once again offers local residents and out-of-town guests a diverse sampling of art from 75 juried artists.

The 35th annual Lincoln Art Fair will be Aug. 23 and Aug. 24. The show officially runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days in downtown Lincoln's Latham Park.

"Art takes many forms. So there's something for everyone at the Lincoln Art Fair," say event co-chairs Marty Ahrends and Rick Hamm. "From functional pottery and unique jewelry to pieces intended for wall display, visitors can find great gifts or something for their home or office. Prices range from $10 on up to $3,000, with many items under $250."

A panel of art professionals begins judging each artist's presentation on Saturday morning, Aug. 23. They will select the Best of Show, sponsored by Rep. Rich Brauer; Best New Artist, sponsored by Marsha Robinett; the Janet Harris Memorial Award, sponsored by the Thomas M. Harris family; and first, second and third place, which receive cash awards.

Twenty-one new artists will compete for awards and sales this year. Their offerings range from original wire sculpture and leather goods to fine writing instruments crafted from wood and drawings of revered athletic venues.

New at the Lincoln Art Fair:

  • Photographer Philip Gangler from Normal

  • Pen-and-ink artist Douglas Fulks from Lake Lotawana, Mo.

  • Photographer Jill Flinn from Glasglow, Mo.

  • Glass artist Brock Eddleman from Bloomington

  • Mixed-media artist Rhonda Cearlock from Vandalia

  • Kiln-fired glass artist Charlotte Behrends from Mount Carroll

  • Sterling silver artisan Tricia Hardway from Springfield

  • Sharon Barnhill, "The Bead Lady," of Chatham

  • Petersburg's J.W. Bailey Saddlery

  • Copper sculptors Josie and Sandra Thompson from Gibson City

  • Photographer Gary Steinke from Lake Barrington

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  • Mixed-media artist Kit Sunderland from Plainfield

  • Mixed-media artist Mary Beth Shaw from Wildwood, Mo.

  • Woodcarvers Mike and Nancy Scherer from Sparland

  • Michael Schael of Rock Eagle Pottery in Cambridge, Wis.

  • Photographer Dylan Punke of Bloomington

  • Acrylic artist Lou Ann Minton from San Jose

  • Mixed-media 3-D artisan Bill Merritt from Camdenton, Mo.

  • Glass bead jeweler Audra Lofraro-White of DeLand

  • Wire-wrapped jewelry from Mary Barge Hoar of St. Louis

  • Wood writing instruments from Mary Boesdorfer and Jim Harp of Rochester

Many of the veteran exhibitors, like Kansas City-based whimsical pen-and-ink artist Bob Holloway, have cultivated a loyal following at the Lincoln Art Fair. Their booths are generally in the same location so their clients have no trouble finding their newest works.

"Purchasing 'art bucks' is a great way to reward employees or recognize a milestone event," say Ahrends and Hamm. "These dollar-for-dollar vouchers are valued by artists who vie for sales from the Lincoln Art Fair regular buyers."

Other downtown activities on the weekend of the art fair and balloon fest include the used book sale at the Lincoln Public Library, Art of Wine on the courthouse square, a car show and a flea market.

[Text from file received from Marty Ahrends, co-chair, Lincoln Art Fair]

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